In 2008, Dale and Sandy Russell made a reluctant visit to Snake River Correctional Institute (SRCI) in Ontario, Oregon. The chaplain for SRCI at the time, asked them to share the story of Otino Waa Children’s Village (OTW) in Northern Uganda.
After overcoming more than a little trepidation, Dale and Sandy entered the prison walls and made the seemingly endless walk down a cavernous and colorless hallway to a chapel service on a gray Saturday morning. What they saw and heard from the men they met that day has led to an unexpected and undeniable ministry of reconciliation and healing.
The inmates of SRCI, many of whom will never again see the outside world, are choosing hope through hurt and creating purpose through vision. Each inmate who contributes artwork, prayer, donations or words of encouragement is transforming the consequences of a broken life into a renewed sense of belonging to something greater. Visions of Hope is the only organization in the world to bring together inmates and orphans in this unique and inspiring way.
This relationship between prisoners and orphans is captured in the documentary, “Lost & Found.”
The story takes you from the inmates of SRCI, to the children of northern Uganda and the founders of Otino Waa Children’s Village, Bob and Carol Higgins of Bend, Oregon. It was produced by Sandy Cummings and narrated by Bruce Cummings, both Emmy award producers from NBC, who retired in Bend and discovered this story. We appreciate how God works with so many elements and includes us in the process.
The unique connection between the men and women prisoners here and the children in Uganda continues to change lives, including our own. Visions of Hope asks all who watch “Lost & Found” would then invite neighbors, friends and family for a “home party” as a way to share this life-changing story. It is our prayer that it will touch you as it has touched us.
Visions of Hope continues today by adding additional prison facilities and inmate artists to our list of champions. Contact us to be considered for a prison visit or a one-of-a-kind volunteer opportunity.
Visions of Hope is a 501c3, NPO and responds to your financial support with tax receipts, accountability and management of your finances as effectively as possible. We currently have a ten member board of directors in Bend, Oregon. There are no paid employees at this time, relying on dedicated volunteers to carry out all aspects of the organization.